Facebook Social Plugins: Overview Last update: 5/6/2011 1
Social Plugins Starts with a “Like” Used to be only on Facebook, now it is also on websites Shares your “Like” to the News Feed of your friends and shows up as recent activity on your own page Activity Feed Shows users a stream of recent likes and comments from user’s friends of things on your site Most useful for media sites, e.g., sites where it is likely members of user’s personal network have also visited/engaged recently Recommendations Shows personalized page recommendations to users based on the likes and comments across entire site More useful for the average site, with fewer visitors but more focused. Recommendations show what’s most popular/engaging
Social Plugins Send button While the Like Button shares content with all friends, Send Button allows them to send a message to only friends the user selects Essentially replaces “Email to a Friend” on web pages With Facebook send button, you can track how many users are sharing content - just as with the “like” button. Can be added to either a brand or personal page's “Insights” display Does notreplace sharing “widgets” as shown below, b/c Send does not post to wall. (User clicks “Facebook” from widget menu, then sees option to publish as a Wall post
Social Plugins How the Send button works Send button brings up a dialogue box that allows you to post to either Facebook groups or Facebook “Messages” (which works with anyone you are friends with), Facebook Groups, or directly to individual email addresses. When you hit send, it sends them a link:
Social Plugins How Send button works (continued) If they send to a manually-entered email address, will show up in the recipient’s standard email inbox as an email message. If they send either to a group or to an individual using FB messages, the message will show up in the recipient’s “Messages” inbox (see example below).
Social Plugins Why and when to use Send button Offers more control than “like” or sharing widgets b/c lets users share only with the people they want, rather than to their entire network. That’s why Facebook makes it easy to implement the Send button alongside the “Like” button. Send buttonis better than “Email to a Friend” because it conveniently connects users with their contacts and groups right in the UX, rather than requiring them to manually type or paste in one email address after another. Tapping into Facebook’sinherent virality is also a plus. Finally, users’ level of comfort with Facebook also increases the chance this will actually be used. Insights are built into the function and displayed on Facebook admin page, so it is much easier to include outcomes from sharing vs. ShareThis or Addthis, which are isolated from other reporting, probably often considered unimportant and ignored. Simple to implement - Adding a few words to "Like" button script makes this happen, so it will usually make sense to add this whenever “Like” is being added to a site… “Email to a Friend” is still viable option for the footer of pages; don’t necessarily assume you have to remove it to implement the Send button – just be sure “Email to a Friend” is nowhere close to the Send button and less prominent on page. That said, ETAF should be sunsetted when other changes make doing so convenient.
Social Plugins Comments Enables user commenting, as on a blog, but anywhere online – esp. web pages. Includes moderation tools and distribution. Better than commenting functionality on most blogs, because… If a user leaves the “Post to Facebook” box checked when she posts a comment, story appears on her friends’ News Feed indicating that she’s made a comment on your website, which will also link back to your site. Friends and people who like the Page can then respond to the discussion by liking or replying to the comment directly in the News Feed on Facebook or in the Comments Box on your site. Threads stay synced across Facebook and on the Comments Box on your site regardless of where the comment was made. Takes conversational nature of the News Feed and makes it portable to websites
Social Plugins “[And as we’ve seen with major events, because it leverages status updates, chat sessions can go extremely viral and produce huge numbers]… [should be a boon to web publishers]” (article) Live Stream The Live Stream plugin lets users visiting your site or application share activity and comments in real time. Live Stream works best when running a real-time event live streaming video speeches webcasts live Web chats webinars games
For Examples of all these things… http://www.facebook.com/platform?sk=app_11007063052